Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Missing boy, father sighted at St. Petersburg marina

ST. PETERSBURG — A Palm Bay man suspected of abducting his young son from a supervised visit Saturday may have escaped to the water in a 32-foot sailboat, authorities said Sunday.

Police think Paul Martikainen may have taken his 3-year-old son, Luke Finch, aboard the sailboat, which was at the Salt Creek Marina at 107 16th Ave. SE in St. Petersburg, said Cocoa Police Department spokeswoman Officer Barbara Matthews.

"We found out (Martikainen) had a boat there and people saw Paul and Luke in a dinghy going out to a boat," Matthews said.

Finch was reported missing Saturday afternoon after he disappeared from a Cocoa park during a supervised visit with his father. Martikainen, 35, was able to slip away from the supervisor sometime after noon.

An Amber Alert sent out Saturday evening said Martikainen was thought to be traveling in a green 1995 Ford Explorer with tag number 142KEA. Shortly after news of the alert ran on local news broadcasts, a caller told authorities that the vehicle was at the marina, Matthews said.

St. Petersburg police found the Ford and impounded it. They learned that a friend of Martikainen bought the boat in October.

Witnesses at the marina said they saw Martikainen and the boy get into the 32-foot Bristol sailboat, Matthews said.

It was recently painted battleship gray, Matthews said, possibly to conceal the boat on the water. That means the abduction could have been planned in advance, she said.

The Coast Guard in St. Petersburg was assisting with the search on Sunday, said spokesman Petty Officer Robert Simpson.

Martikainen, Finch's non-custodial parent, was ordered to have supervised visitation because of previous allegations of abuse against the boy, Matthews said.

Matthews said the child's mother is "afraid … but very hopeful."

"Our goal is his safe return," she said.

Police seek help

Paul Martikainen is described as being 5 feet 11 inches tall, 176 pounds, with blond hair and green eyes. Luke Finch is described as being 2 feet 9 inches tall, 33 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes. According to the Amber Alert, the child was last seen wearing a blue sweatshirt, blue pants and black and red fire engine sneakers.

Cocoa police ask anyone with information to call (321) 639-7620 or dial 911.

Missing boy, father sighted at St. Petersburg marina 11/29/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 30, 2009 11:07am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Late night update: Second wave follows Tropical Storm Harvey

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 11 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  3. Stealth anti-Jack Latvala group tied to Adam Putnam campaign

    Blogs

    Politico reports:

     A longtime political consultant for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is behind a website calling one of his rivals in the race, state Sen. Jack Latvala, a “liberal.”

  4. Council gives in to pension dispute with St. Pete firefighters

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council was forced to consider its first labor dispute in years Thursday when it gave the firefighters union most of the pension enhancements it has long asked for.

    The firefighters’ union won a pension victory at Thursday’s City Council meeting. [SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES]
  5. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.